Hope all is well. Ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, and the winter after that? Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, eat well, but eat smart too!
→ A Couple of Announcements
During off hours, when we don't answer the phone personally, you can always leave a message. Your voice message reaches me by email. I can also be reached directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An exciting weak with the grandchildren.
We'll be away the week after Thanksgiving, in Disney (Orlando) with our younger son and daughter in law and, of course, with the "young ones," - their first Disney visit.
We'll be back in the office on Monday morning 12/9/2019. During that time, Janine will be in the office part of the time, and I will still be available by email.
If you need anything before, we leave, or have upcoming medication renewals, please let me know as soon as possible.
We now participate in the following insurance plans:
- Medicare, including most Medicare Advantage plans
- United Health Care
- And the most recent addition: Anthem and its affiliated plans (e.g. Empire Blue Cross)
→ A Touch of Medicine
The Shingrix immunization vaccine (a 2-shot sequence, spaced at least two months apart) is recommended for people over the age of 50 (even if you took the "old" injection more than 4-5 years ago). The vaccine is much more effective than the old one, and is particularly important for the elderly, who are much more susceptible to shingles and its complication with advancing age. Highly recommended.
Approximately 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, the vast majority over 65 years old, but the disease may take many years to develop, with only minor symptoms that may not arouse any suspicion.
A common question asked by patients is "Do you think I'm developing Alzheimer's?" Some are scared just of the thought of Alzheimer's, especially if it affects someone close to them. The answer is not always easy and may not be reliable without extensive testing. Since there's no cure at this time, it may be more important to do what you can to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
Some of the main risks of developing Alzheimer's, and related forms of dementia, include: Genetics (relatively rare!), smoking, diets high in saturated fats, excess alcohol intake, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of social interaction.
What are some of the recommendations to decrease the chances of developing premature Alzheimer's/dementia?
- Tobacco: If you do - don't
- Exercise. If you don't - do. Exercise regularly (a good regimen is 150 minutes a week, 30 minutes 5 times a week).
- Eat a "Healthy diet," e.g. Mediterranean, low saturated fat, low in "fast carb's" (low sugar, white flour products).
- Be socially active: friends, family, or other social networks (and I don't mean the internet).
- Keep your brain active. Puzzles, word games. Challenge your brain.
- For diabetics: Keep your blood sugar under control. It's not only the fasting sugar, not only the A1C, but it's important to keep the blood sugar from spiking after meals.
- For people with high blood pressure: Keep it under control to minimize cerebrovascular complications.
- Coffee. Believe it or not, "reasonable" amount of coffee (even decaf) may help (usually no more than 4-5 cups a day).
- Cholesterol. If not within acceptable limits, Statin drugs may help.
- Supplements (Gingko Biloba and others): None has been proven in controlled studies to be effective. However, some non-controlled observations seem to show that MCT oils (medium-chain triglycerides) may help in treatment and prevention.
- For people with a genetic predisposition to dementia: the recommendations are still valid!
If you have any questions, feel free to call the office or contact me by email. If you're concerned about having diabetes or you think you may be a prediabetic (especially it there's a family history of diabetes), don't wait, call, it's an easy test.
So, like in many other medical conditions, we're back to the issue of lifestyle, and maybe medication...
Confusing? Need to know what is the right move for you? Don't hesitate to ask next time I see you, or email.
Stay well and have a great Thanksgiving,
Igal Staw, Ph.D., M.D.